If you're anything like us, you share lots of things — juicy secrets, delicious desserts, and hilarious inside jokes — with your best friend. But a new study just revealed you might share something even deeper with your close pals: a similar type of brain activity.
The study, published in <a target="blank" href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-02722-7">Nature Communications, analyzed the social links between friendships within a group of 280 people by studying the participants' brain responses to the same video clips. These clips encompassed a wide variety of topics and genres, such as politics, science, comedy, and music videos. The researchers were able to find that neural activity in response to the footage was strikingly similar between folks who were close friends. In fact, they were _so similar that they could actually be used to predict who would be friends with whom — wow!
"Neural responses to dynamic, naturalistic stimuli, like videos, can give us a window into people's unconstrained, spontaneous thought processes as they unfold. Our results suggest that friends process the world around them in exceptionally similar ways," said lead author Carolyn Parkinson, PhD.
Now, we've always joked with our best friends that great minds think alike, but we had no idea just how accurate that idea could be. We can't wait to find out what else the researchers learn about how this sweet phenomenon comes to be. Next, they plan to research whether we naturally befriend others who respond to life around us like we do and whether we become more more alike after sharing experiences together.
"We are a social species and live our lives connected to everybody else," said senior author Thalia Wheatley, PhD. "If we want to understand how the human brain works, then we need to understand how brains work in combination — how minds shape each other."
Aww! Where would we be without our best friends?
h/t Science Daily
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